Civil Fraud and Investigations

"An exceptional team" Chambers and Partners, 2020

Our established and highly experienced team of specialist civil fraud lawyers can help to find, preserve and recover stolen money and assets around the world.
 

The cost of fraud to businesses and individuals runs into billions of pounds each year. The international nature of commerce and increased reliance on electronic communications means that there has been a sharp increase in the number and value of fraud claims. 

We act for both the victims of fraud and the defendants to civil fraud proceedings. Our Partners are ranked both as a team and individually in the legal directories, Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

When fraud is suspected or discovered, the first steps are critical. At short notice, we can assemble a multi-disciplinary team to advise on all aspects, regardless of the scale and reach of the issue, providing swift strategic and tactical advice. We have wide experience in conducting internal investigations where the fraud has been perpetrated by someone within your company. For fraud matters that have a criminal aspect, we are uniquely placed to draw upon the expertise of our second-to-none criminal fraud team.

For victims of fraud, we have experience of finding, preserving and recovering stolen money and assets around the world and have regularly advised on seeking and obtaining freezing injunctions to preserve such assets.

For defendants who are accused of fraud, we have defended allegations on some of the biggest fraud cases to date involving freezing (and other) injunctions. We often work alongside our Criminal and Employment departments in matters that involve such implications.

We have acted on high profile and important recent fraud cases including:

  • acting for a trustee in bankruptcy seeking to challenge various transactions, including a divorce settlement, and to challenge an employee benefit trust on the basis that it was a sham.
  • obtaining the only judgment in favour of a member of the Ablyazov family in the wide-ranging and on-going litigation brought by BTA Bank;
  • acting for the liquidator of a Cayman company which was appointed to invest pension money in relation to a pension scheme being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office; and
  • acting for an African government trying to recover assets stolen by a former head of state.

 

What clients and directories have said

Our experienced team is recognised by the legal directories Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500.

The team is highly knowledgeable, easy to work with and produces an extremely high standard of work."

Chambers and Partners 2019

Everything they do in their approach to cases is commercially astute and pragmatic."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

They have a really deep expertise in fraud."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

They're good at dealing with the client and fighting the case. I'd certainly recommend them."

Chambers and Partners, 2017

They do top-level work."  

Chambers UK, 2017

...offers top quality service..."

Legal 500 UK, 2015

 

For more information, read our frequently asked questions on civil fraud vs criminal fraud disputes and details regarding supervising solicitors

 

 

 

 

they are nimble, fast and responsive, and able to make decisions very rapidly." 

Chambers and Partners, 2020

a big team of well-recognised players in the market" who are "strong on civil fraud."

Chambers and Partners, 2020

They have strength in depth, with associates and partners who have a wide range of experience," adding that the lawyers are "easy to work with, dynamic and creative."

Chambers and Partners, 2020

It's a really strong team there. Ours was the type of job where you'd need to be creative, robust and we couldn't have just said 'this smells a bit, let's issue proceedings,' because we didn't have enough. However, Kingsley Napley found all we needed."

Chambers and Partners, Litigation Support, 2020

It's strength in numbers there. It's not one or two stars, they have a broad spectrum of people who know what they're doing. It was startling how quickly they can pull things out of the bag."

Chambers and Partners, Litigation Support, 2020

The team has a good mix of intellectual and commercial capability, knowing when to push hard and when to step back and take a longer term view of matters. Faced with an apparently intractable problem, they manage to achieve solutions that work for the client and ensure that continual delays sought by an opponent in an effort to grind their clients down are not countenanced, rather are effectively blocked"

Legal 500, 2020

Latest blogs & news

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q3 2021

A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (3rd quarter 2021)

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q2 2021

A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (2nd quarter 2021)

Causing Loss by Unlawful Means - the Dealing Requirement

In the recent case of Secretary of State for Health (“NHS”) v Servier Laboratories Ltd (“Servier”), the Supreme Court considered whether in cases involving loss caused by unlawful means, the unlawful means must have affected a third party's freedom to deal with the claimant. This is known as “the dealing requirement”.

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q1 2021

A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (1st quarter 2021)

Current trends in fraud: Crypto scams

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was an incredible year for crypto assets.  Largely driven by the increased demand from institutional investors, Bitcoin shattered its previous price records. However, its pseudonymous nature and the ease with which it allows users to instantly send funds anywhere in the world makes crypto assets appealing to criminals.

One hand in the cookie jar: Fraud and directors’ duties in insolvency

What happens when a director commits fraud by misappropriating company assets?  Or what of the director who continues trading knowing that the company has no realistic prospect of paying its debts as and when they fall due? To whom does a director owe duties at that point and what recourse is there against that director? This article explores these questions.

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q4 2020

A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (4th quarter 2020)

Directors’ communications with their solicitors: perhaps not as privileged as you think (Part 2)

In the recent case of Barrowfen Properties Ltd v (1) Girish Dahyabhai Patel (2) Stevens & Bolton LLP (3) Barrowfen Properties II [2020] EWHC 2536 (Ch), the High Court extended the iniquity exception to breaches of a director’s statutory duties.

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q3 2020

A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (3rd quarter 2020)

Preventing, detecting and responding to fraud within charities

The Law Society Gazette and Third Sector recently reported that a number of charities, including Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Yorkshire Cancer Research, the British Heart Foundation and the National Trust, issued a claim against a former solicitor, Linda Box. They claim to have been deprived of a legacy gift from a Will of which she was the co-executor. Box was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2017, having admitted to 12 offences of fraud, theft and forgery while working as a senior partner at a firm of solicitors in Wakefield, having stolen approximately £4 million. The fraud is said to have been conducted using a process known as “teeming and lading” whereby money is moved between client accounts to hide a shortfall or theft.

Court makes Search Order in COVID times

A search order, made pursuant to section 7 of the Civil Procedure Act 1997 and CPR Part 25, is one of the most draconian orders the English civil courts can make.  No Respondent really wants a search team to enter their premises but because of Covid -19 the search team is even less welcome than usual.

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q2 2020

A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (2nd quarter 2020)

Back to the drawing board: Do I have to re-plead/re-prove my case?

In a recent case, Ward & Ors v Savill  [2020] EWHC 1534 (Ch), the judge had to grapple with the question - can a claimant rely on an earlier judgment granted in one case involving different parties to enable it to bring a new claim against a different defendant without having to re-plead and prove the facts and matters it relied on in the first case?

All swans are white….?

I have always had a soft spot for the Black Swan jurisdiction: nothing to do with the law, but because it reminds me of my previous study of philosophy and the use of “all swans are white” as an example of falsification theory.  

Fraud Unravels All?

In the recent case of Georgallides –v- Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [2020] EWHC 768 (Ch), the High Court grappled with the question of how the maxim “fraud unravels all” should apply to disqualification undertakings given pursuant to Section 8A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (“the CDDA”).

How to guard against and respond to fraud in the charity sector

It has been widely reported that fraudsters are currently seeking to exploit the situation with COVID-19. Alarmingly, Action Fraud reported an increase in coronavirus related fraud by 400% in March. In this blog we outline some of the critical questions, which all charities, irrespective of size and stature, should be asking themselves to identify areas of risk and detect fraud and how to best respond if the charity has been a victim of fraud.

The Maserati Fraud

In the recent case of Sell Your Car With Us Limited v Sareen [2019] EWHC 232 (Ch) the Insolvency Court were asked to determine whether the ultimate victim of an email hacking fraud, Mr Sareen, was liable in contract and/or tort to Sell Your Car With US Ltd (the “Company”) for causing the fraud by failing to take reasonable care over the security of his emails and/or take reasonable control over his email security.

‘Courier’ Fraud Crackdown – Beware of fraudsters keeping it simple

February 2020 - Police say they have arrested more than 40 people in a crackdown on courier fraud involving over 3,000 victims. Police have reported that there has been a recent significant increase in these cases with total losses reported to the police of over £12 million. There are reports of individuals losing significant sums of money to these scams, such as a couple losing nearly £1million of their life savings and pensions and one victim losing £400,000.

What is required to prove contempt of court?

Applications in the civil courts for contempt of court are becoming more regular and we have previously written blogs on this topic : It's only a court order, who cares? - Contempt of Court & Contempt of court: the prospect of prison, even before proceedings are issued.

Banks to tackle fraud by introducing extra checks on transfers

From 31 March 2020, the UK’s six largest banking groups will start checking whether the name entered on a bank transfer matches the names of the recipient bank account. It is hoped the move will combat transfer scams and errors and make it less likely customers’ money ends up in the wrong hands.

News and blogs

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News

Three Kingsley Napley articles featured in ThoughtLeaders4 FIRE Magazine

William Christopher quoted in Investor's Chronicle about how to avoid being scammed

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q4 2019

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q3 2019

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q2 2019

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q1 2019

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q4 2018

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q3 2018

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q2 2018

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q1 2018

Richard Foss quoted in The Law Society Gazette

Does the decision in Bilta represent a more generous interpretation of litigation privilege?

Dishonesty test: Playing with a new deck - Stephen Parkinson quoted in CDR

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q4 2017

Ryan Mowat and Katherine Pymont have been published in the Law Society Gazette

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q3 2017

Kingsley Napley listed as a ‘Leading Firm’ in 2017's Who’s Who Legal for Asset Recovery

Contentious Trusts and Probate Monthly Round-Up: January 2017

The risks of deleting history

PRESS RELEASE: Civil fraud specialist Fiona Simpson joins Kingsley Napley as a Partner

View all

Blogs

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q1 2021

Current trends in fraud: Crypto scams

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q4 2020

Directors’ communications with their solicitors: perhaps not as privileged as you think (Part 2)

Fraud and opportunism during COVID-19

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q3 2020

Preventing, detecting and responding to fraud within charities

Court makes Search Order in COVID times

Insolvency interviews in the context of suspected criminal or regulatory misconduct

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q2 2020

Back to the drawing board: Do I have to re-plead/re-prove my case?

The emperor’s new clothes or sweeping reform? The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Fraud Unravels All?

How to guard against and respond to fraud in the charity sector

Fraud in the time of COVID-19 - The law enforcement response

Remote mediation in civil litigation: Does it really work?

The Maserati Fraud

‘Courier’ Fraud Crackdown – Beware of fraudsters keeping it simple

Banks to tackle fraud by introducing extra checks on transfers

38% of businesses hit by internal fraud in the last year : Is your business prepared?

Contempt of court: the prospect of prison, even before proceedings are issued

De-banking: what's the appeal?

Freezing Injunctions: Which assets are covered by a standard freezing order?

The privilege against self-incrimination and its use in civil fraud proceedings

Identity Fraud: company directors at double the risk of other individuals

Abuse of Power of Attorney: Safeguarding against the increasing threat

Court unlikely to depart from default position of full disclosure (PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov and others)

Insider fraud in charities: prevention is better than cure

Does the decision in Bilta represent a more generous interpretation of litigation privilege?

It’s only a court order, who cares? –Contempt of court

Fraud in your business: Would you know what to do?

No place at the table for an honest cheat

Private prosecutions - What should fraud victims do when law enforcement agencies fail to act?

Initiative to help fraud victims is step in the right direction

The EU Referendum – what impact would Brexit have on civil litigation?

Is a freezing order affecting third parties contrary to public policy?

Hidden flaws in proposed new “failure to prevent fraud” corporate offence.

Legal update: Worldwide Freezing Orders - a useful tool

SFO is Failing the Victims of Fraud

Freezing orders – more draconian for some than others?

Legal Update: Jetivia v Bilta

Do you want your money back?

The court gives guidance on the hearing of applications brought by victims of fraud under section 281 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

The FCA, PRA and HMRC’s agreement on improved sharing of information and technical assistance

Corporate fraud – what is it and how should it be dealt with?

Ponzi schemes and boiler room frauds - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Civil fraud - a claim for deceit

How can I challenge a freezing order over my assets?

Expert shopping is not for the privileged

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) up for discussion

Case update: Court of Appeal criticises judge for refusing to recuse himself

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